The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has warned that Nigerian may slide into recession if the coronavirus pandemic continues beyond six months.
Mrs Ahmed stated this during her appearance on Channels TV, where she spoke on the measures taken by the government to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the nation’s economy. She said:
“We are hopeful that this pandemic will be limited in time. If it is an average of three months, we should be able to close the year with positive growth. But if it goes longer than that – six months, one year – we will go into recession.”
She said the Federal and the state governments will struggle in terms of revenue, as long as the crude oil price is as low as $30 and sub-$30 per barrel.
Mr Ahmed explained that this was why the government was looking for alternative sources of funding in the form of budget support to boost the economy towards the trying times.
As part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus and reduce its effect on the economy, the minister noted that President Muhammadu Buhari set up the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
She believes the committee, comprising key Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and chaired by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), is up to the tasked.